Sunday, August 31, 2008

God rest ye good conservatives....


As Hurricane Gustav bears down on New Orleans to commemorate the third anniversary of its evil cousin, Katrina, we hear that conservative Christian celebrity James Dobson's group, Focus on the Family, was behind a prayerfest request last week asking the Almighty to make it rain — really really hard — on Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in Denver:

Focus on the Family spokespeople said this prayer request was just a joke. The Almighty said, Oh yeah? Let me show you what a joke looks like. And now the rain is coming to trash the Republicans' convention plans instead.


But really: OMGWTF.

And now, as the Gulf Coast prepares for all hell to break loose again, we're gonna run through this one more time: God is not a member of the Republican Party or affiliated with the conservative movement. In His earthly form as Jesus of Nazareth, these were some of the extremely anti-Republican sentiments He expressed:

• "Blessed are the peacemakers.... love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to them that hate you." This would refer to Barack Obama's plans, ridiculed by Republicans, to meet with world leaders on the "enemies of the U.S." list, talk with them, and listen to them in the interests of creating peace.

• "In the same way you judge, so will you be judged in equal measure." Those who are obsessed with enforcing select passages from the third book of the Torah while overlooking the third book of the New Testament — "Guard against all kinds of greed; a person's life does not consist of the abundance of possessions" — should be extremely careful here. Somewhere along the line, Republicanism and conservatism became about protecting corporations while condemning everyone and everything else. God doesn't appreciate having His name associated with that. He's going to be one very Annoyed Almighty when judgment comes.

• "Sell what you have and give to the poor.... When you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind." Here, the Lord was referring to basic health care for all of His people, which is what the Democrats have been trying to put through for nearly two decades, each time encountering a wall of Republican social Darwinists who paraphrase Ebenezer Scrooge in discussing the poor and uninsured: Let them die and decrease the surplus population. That's not Christian, it's Satanic.

• "When you pray, do not pray as the hypocrites do: for they love to pray standing in public, where they may be seen by others.... When you pray, shut your door and do it in private." This one might resonate with the Falwell, Robertson, and Dobson crowds who like to squint their eyes earnestly in front of the TV cameras and entreat the Almighty to smite Democrats for letting homosexuality and abortions cause destruction and desolation like the downing of the World Trade Center and the drowning of New Orleans — both of which were preventable and took place under a Republican watch.

An excellent open letter to conservative Christians by Rev. Gary Vance, written in 2004, bears repeating here. In it, Rev. Vance points out that there is a "long history of liberals who have labored for the betterment of society and the furthering of God’s Kingdom.... No average American would have a fair wage today if it weren’t for liberal Christians and labor activists. Liberal Christians and civil rights activists fought and still fight against conservative America for racial equality. Child labor laws were enacted because liberals fought for them. Medicare and Social Security exist today because of Liberalism. 'Bleeding heart liberals' have long advocated for the homeless, the hungry, the less fortunate, and the disenfranchised. The women of America owe liberals a big thank you for their almost-equal rights. 'Tree hugging liberals' fight for clean air and water standards instead of favoring industrial polluters and short term profiteering that destroy God’s green earth...."

WB senior staff have parochial-school educations in their pasts, and can cite Scripture with the best of them. And we are damned well certain that not a line of it calls for leaving the least of God's children to fend for themselves. As Rev. Vance politely sums up, while Democrats and liberals have been taking on a wide range of highly Christian issues, Republicans and conservatives, like the moron weatherman in the video above, have focused myopically on exactly two: gay rights and abortion. But when the Republican ultra-conservative Vice President of the United States turns out to have a lesbian daughter, that magically becomes a non-issue, and when the unaborted are born, they're left uninsured, untreated, uneducated, underpaid, unemployed — and then condemned for being drains on decent, hard-working society.

As Jesus himself pointed out in that verse about not being able to serve both God and man: You can't have it both ways at once.

Sometimes, when praying (privately and quietly) for deliverance from evil, it's good to realize that the evil might be much closer than a gathering of Christian liberal Democrats in the mountains of Colorado. It could be in the mirror.

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